Kona fills a gap for

Hyundai

Hyundai Kona, front
Hyundai Kona, front
Hyundai Kona, front
Hyundai Kona, side
Hyundai Kona, rear
Hyundai Kona, rear
Hyundai Kona, rear
Hyundai Kona, interior
Hyundai Kona, boot

HYUNDAI had until recently been wearing a coat with one empty sleeve.

An accomplished and fulsome range it may have had but missing was the modern essential of a compact SUV.

Enter the Kona to the breeding ground that is Vauxhall Mokka, Nissan Juke and what seems like a cast of thousands including the Stonic from sister brand Kia.

Let's get something clear from the off. This is a family car which has good looks but is not designed to excite the loins.

The opening engine gambit engine line-up for now consists of a 118bhp 1.0 turbo triple featured here a four pot 1.6, both petrol.

It has a six-speed manual gearbox driving the front wheels. The 1.6 is limited to the higher trim levelsand can be ordered with on-demand four-wheel drive.

Electronics and connectivity feature heavily on the Kona menu. There are 5.0-inch, 7.0-inch and 8.0-inch infotainment displays according to trim level, the base option including Bluetooth.

The larger touchscreens provide a reversing camera, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, while the 8.0-inch one has navigation and seven years' free subscription to various real-time updates.

The Kona comes in five trim levels, S, SE, Premium, Premium SE and Premium GT.

Entry-level models get 16-inch alloy wheels, electric windows, hill start assist and lane departure warning on the outside as standard on the outside. Inside, there is air conditioning, tinted rear windows, Bluetooth and USB connectivity.

Upgrade to SE for 17-inch alloys, rear parking sensors, rear camera, and smartphone integration, while Premium grade has 18-inch alloy wheels, climate control, auto wipers and lights, and keyless entry and start.

Premium SE models add electrically adjustable and climate controlled front seats, a leather upholstery, folding mirrors, a heated steering wheel and front parking sensors, while the range-topping Premium GT Kona is equipped with a host of safety equipment and LED headlights.

Comfortable, high-mounted seats, plenty of space and a clear layout make it, and if you're in any doubt at the adequacy of a 1.0 triple for the hauling job ahead, fear not - the well-managed turbocharger ensures decent power.

Mid-range pull is good, too, and even though a 12.0 second 0-62mph sprintis hardly rapid, the Kona rarely feels slow.

The three-cylinder's razzle isn't obvious until it's worked hard it is far from short of fun in the bends but in tighter turns, you need a little more lock than you might expect given sharper turn-in.

Roll is fended off pretty effectively and the steering wheel turns cleanly to allow brisk progress, even if this feels quite a wide car for a vehicle classed as compact.No racing car but it's hardly painful either, and it's certainly game to trot on.

Hyundai's absorbency potential is good and longer trips don't hurt. In the back there is reasonable passenger space any luggage capacity helped by the boot's flat floor, which stays that way when the split backrests are dropped to extend it.

The one-litre Premium costs £19,360 and is extensively equipped. 52mpg is possible, emissions are 125g/km.

Yet again Korea shows the way in the family car market with a dash of quality, a lot of practicality and plenty of style.

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